Skyllaney have simply introduced the MKII model of the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.4 Planar M-mount lens. These lenses are primarily based on the extremely popular C/Y mount Zeiss 50mm f/1.4, are stripped, meticulously cleaned, adjusted and completely rebuilt into rangefinder coupled m-mounts. I’ve been taking part in with one for a couple of days within the run as much as the announcement.
For those who observe my Instagram, you would possibly know that I’ve not too long ago fallen off a little bit of a Contax SLR cliff. It began with a chance to purchase 3 Contax Zeiss lenses that I couldn’t actually refuse, and has since resulted in me selecting up two fairly fancy Contax SLRs. That’s a narrative for an additional day actually, however for saying that after what seems like a few years of doing my finest to keep away from Zeiss C/Y lenses, not solely do I now have a small assortment of them, however I additionally – at the least briefly – have in my possession one that may be mounted to my M-mount cameras.
I’ve been avoiding these lenses for 2 key causes. The primary is that they’re SLR lenses, and up till a few 12 months in the past I used to be rather a lot happier with rangefinder cameras. The second is that I do know very nicely that have been I to step into the world of Contax SLRs and their Zeiss lenses, it might be a really deep gap of GAS for me. I’m already an enormous Zeiss lens fan, and I’ve long-suspected that the 70s-90s period lenses would possibly truly swimsuit me the most effective of all.
Taking into consideration these two elements, you’ll be able to most likely think about how attention-grabbing I discover a m-mount rangefinder coupled model of the Zeiss 50mm 1.Four Planar…? Briefly, had I not spent a fortune on the three lenses and two cameras I’ve simply purchased, I believe I might digging round at the back of the couch for the pennies required to buy this Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar. Because it stands although, I need to resist. As a lot as Chris has bought very near tempting me into shopping for one. I’ve – at the least in the intervening time – parked the concept in order to focus on taking pictures these lenses on their native mount cameras.
The Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar I’ve right here is one thing of a remaining prototype loaned to me for evaluate. As such, while it appears very good, Chris has requested me to say that it doesn’t have slightly dot on it for lining up the lens to mount, and it’s not the ultimate end of paintwork within the mount a part of the conversion. He has additionally 6-bit coded it to the pre-asph Summilux, which in line with Chris has a really comparable vignetting profile.
The ultimate “manufacturing” variations are being painted to a fair greater commonplace by CameraKote, and while the indentations for the 6-bit coding will likely be included, they gained’t be painted in by Chris. This permits the tip person to decide on to code the lens if they want. That apart, what you see here’s a very functioning, and really polished feeling Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar!
The Conversion Course of
To transform these lenses, Chris from Skyllaney first strips them down fully to wash all the optics and all the parts that will likely be used within the remaining rebuild. All of the parts are ultrasonic-cleaned and restored to as near factory-condition as attainable.
From that time he then barely adjusts the focal size of the lenses from the 51.8mm they’re as commonplace to the 51.6mm commonplace the that the Leica rangefinder system expects. This permits him to connect a brass focusing cam to the rear of the optical block for good rangefinder coupling. He then rebuilds the lens utilizing a mixture of bespoke elements he has made within the UK and a modified C/Y -> M lens adapter that’s completely affixed to the again of the unique lens housing.
Within the strategy of rebuilding the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar, he additionally modifies the interior elements of the lens to barely uprate them from the unique design. Through the use of some o-rings to assist safe a number of the components he makes them much less inclined to coming unfastened if knocked, in addition to serving to to seal them from the setting. Chris tells me that this could assist forestall fungus long term – one thing that he has over time seen that these lenses are in any other case inclined to.
The Completed Really feel
The texture of the completed Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar is frankly wonderful. The focusing I’ve on the model I’ve right here is extremely clean and really nicely damped. I’ve, as I’ve stated, a 50mm f/1.Four within the authentic C/Y mount – in truth I’ve two right here in the mean time. These Contax lenses are very good as commonplace and appear to age very nicely when it comes to their mechanics, however Chris’s fettled one definitely has the texture of a lens that has not too long ago been serviced to a really excessive commonplace. It’s nothing in need of buttery, if you happen to’ll excuse the cliche. The aperture clicks really feel clean between clicks and nicely indented, once more just like the native mount ones do. The optics are additionally good – there’s little or no signal that this lens isn’t new – brief of some very nice specs of mud that even model new lenses get inside weeks of use.
The tailored mount additionally virtually appears like a part of the unique lens. There are, in fact, some signal that it’s not. There’s a really refined distinction within the black end – although that is one which Chris has sprayed himself. This gained’t be a difficulty with the ultimate CameraKote painted variations. You can too see the be a part of level the place there’s a small quantity of chrome seen. However actually, any criticism of this is able to be completely pointless nitpicking. For a modified lens, it appears completely spot on – and rather a lot higher than a number of the bodges you see on the market.
My solely small reservation in regards to the particular Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar I’ve right here is the (optionally available) use of leather-based/leatherette for the grip. It’s not that it appears unhealthy, it simply seems like an uncommon materials to have on a lens – although I’m not even positive why…? There are in fact lenses on the market that use leather-based for the grip materials, simply these ones don’t normally, so it stands out as one thing completely different. However I’m most likely nitpicking, and apart from, they are often ordered with the unique Zeiss grip materials, so it’s pretty moot anyway.
Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar In use
The very first thing you’ll most likely suppose wanting on the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar is about how massive it’s. It’s undoubtedly greater than your common 50mm f/1.Four Leica mount lens. That stated, in use it doesn’t really feel too massive. Though I don’t have one to check, I don’t suppose it’s a lot greater than the 7A 50mm f/1.1. It’s additionally undoubtedly no heavier than that lens. It balances actually properly on my M10-P.
The Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar is seen by the viewfinder, and does intrude into the 50mm body strains, however not in a approach that feels too bothersome to me – and definitely gained’t hassle individuals used to taking pictures sooner M-mount lenses.
The factor that’s noticable greater than anything in use although is the lengthy focus throw. Actually, I don’t suppose it will really feel lengthy if it solely targeted right down to 0.7m, however as the unique focuses right down to 0.45m, so does this modified model. After all, no Leica mount rangefinder cameras formally focus under 0.7m, however you probably have ever shot a lens that’s each RF coupled and focuses nearer that 0.7m, you’ll know that the cam follower within the digicam will transfer exterior of the 0.7m-∞ vary. In follow, which means that the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar lens will in truth focus right down to only a bit over 60cm, at the least on my M10-P.
Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar Photographs
You’ll have to excuse the restricted vary of photographs on this article. I’ve been very busy since receiving the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar, and for a portion of the time I’ve had it, I’ve additionally been self-isolating. I’ll at some point of the long run evaluate the 50mm Contax mount model of the lens, at which level I’ll add a hyperlink right here. That stated, I believe most people who find themselves on this lens will likely be nicely conscious of its optical properties…? Regardless, listed below are a number of the photographs I’ve taken.
For those who like Zeiss lenses and also you shoot Leica M-Mount cameras the one off the shelf quick lenses which are out there to you’re Sonnars. Sonnar lenses are great issues, however for some individuals’s cash, they’re far too characterful. Planar lenses are much less charaterful – it’s true that these barely older Planars nonetheless have character, however they’re much extra “dependable” to shoot with than their Sonnar counterparts.
I believe that is going to be an enormous a part of the attraction to the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar. It’s Zeiss, it’s quick, and it’s m-mount coupled. Some will little question have reservations about its measurement, and if I do get Chris to make me one (which I’m all of the extra tempted to now I’ve completed writing about it), I might undoubtedly go for the unique Contax rubber grip somewhat than the leather-based which appears a bit odd to me.
However truthfully, exterior of these principally moot criticisms, I actually can’t fault this conversion. It’s, no doubt, finished to an exceptionally excessive commonplace and says an awesome deal for Chris’s consideration to element. I’m very impressed with the Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar m-mount modified lens – and now have barely an excessive amount of lens-GAS for a Monday afternoon!
The Skyllaney 50mm f/1.Four Planar may be ordered as a whole lens for £1249, or you probably have a donor lens it may be transformed for £999 extra particulars and choices here